Real Estate is Personal
— It was nice to be voted again one of Seattle’s best real estate agents and have my name in the December 2014 issue of the Seattle Magazine. I share this honor with the top seven percent of Seattle area agents selected by their clients and real estate professionals.
I’m sure that it wasn’t their Facebook posts or blogging skills that made these agents stand out. Computer literacy is expected and texting is only a means but not the meaning of client service. What these agents have in common is delivering the best of personal service. Real estate is personal.
Despite technological advancements designed to make it easier for buyers to buy and sellers to sell, residential real estate remains a highly personal business. Attempts to transform real estate into an online dating game ignores human nature. While more and better visuals are useful, virtual reality is no substitute for the real thing. Exploring a home from room to room and up and down the stairs is essential. “What looked like a spacious living room online now barely accommodates a sofa and one arm chair.” “We like the luxurious master suite but the other bedrooms are awfully small.” “We love to entertain but there’s not even enough room for our dining table.” Just three typical comments of hundreds I’ve heard from buyers. This is the real world of real estate. It’s not just about room count and dimensions but about lifestyle. Real estate is personal.
Personal Beliefs and Goals
One buyer’s beliefs would not allow them to purchase a home with a south-facing front door. Another needed to complete the purchase before the deadline to register their children with the new school district. A cash buyer was in town just long enough to make an investment decision. Why people buy certain homes may have more to do with their motivation and circumstances than the home itself. As a real estate agent I have to put myself in the shoes of my clients. No software or app can do that. Real estate is personal.
Perception and Reality
The above also applies to sellers. “We’ve raised a family in this home so what could be wrong with it?” I know that what is a feature to a seller the buyer may see as a flaw. Getting the price right is critical. The right price combined with a great location and just the right market timing can produce superior results. That’s how one of my clients received 18 offers and sold 12 percent over list in a matter of days. Other sellers did just fine but some did not.
Right now, the Seattle area real estate market is hyperlocal. A sellers’ market and a buyers’ market could be just five miles apart. Cash buyers are still king and inventories remain low in the more affordable price ranges in the most desirable places. Automatic valuation software can’t capture the subtleties of the market and take into account the uniqueness of a home. There is no substitute for knowing day in and day out what’s up and what’s down. Finding out why and then applying this knowledge to individual circumstances… that’s what I do. I can do this for you.
To You and Yours a Happy New Year!
Published December 31, 2014 as the 48th issue of The View from the Street.